Wilson Okello to deliver “Year of Education” Distinguished Speaker address, Feb. 29

KINGSTON, R.I.–Feb. 19, 2024–Wilson Kwamogi Okello, assistant professor of higher education and director of the Black Study Education Lab at The Pennsylvania State University, will be the featured speaker for the University of Rhode Island College of Education’s Distinguished Speaker Series, on Thursday, Feb. 29. The event will take place at 4 p.m. in the Galanti Lounge of the Robert L. Carothers Library & Learning Commons, 15 Lippitt Road, on the Kingston Campus.

In his talk, “On Intellectual Refusal and the Pursuit of Liberatory Praxis,” Okello will discuss the ethics and responsibility of doing critical research; how scholars and practitioners sustain themselves in their work; and what it means to do critical research, teaching, and service activities that push against traditional approaches in education.

He will also address the politics of doing critical research in the service of equity and justice in contentious social and political times.

“This talk is essential to me because my students will become teachers and practitioners in educative contexts and beyond. They will play a role in either reproducing the status quo or creating cultures that advance equity and justice,” Okello said. “I plan to discuss some tools that can assist us in meeting the demands of this historical moment and creating otherwise futures.”

Okello is an alumnus of URI’s College Student Personnel master’s program and went on to earn his doctorate from Miami (OH) University.

He is an artist and interdisciplinary scholar who draws on Black critical theories to advance research on student and early adult development theory. He also studies how Black critical theories might reconfigure understandings of racialized stress and trauma, qualitative inquiry, critical masculinities, and curriculum and pedagogy.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is part of the College of Education’s “Year of Education,” a year-long celebration of monthly events that highlight the important work of leaders across the educational spectrum.